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Oz's opening "Odd Couple" developing on formidable lines

Posted By: Staff

Sydney, Jan.2 (ANI): Simon Katich and Shane Watson have developed into a formidable opening combination for Australia. This was never supposed to last and was supposed to be a stop-gap solution until Watson was shifted back down the order so Katich could be reunited with Phillip Hughes.

That little scenario shan't be happening for a while.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Katich and Watson are carving a niche as an opening combination of the highest order.

Watson finally understands the romance surrounding Test cricket's top-order partnerships, the beauty of Simpson and Lawry, Greenidge and Haynes, Hayden and Langer.

Now that Katich is always with him, there is an increasing sense of camaraderie has developed.

"Every time we go out, we continue to grow and develop as an opening pair. We've got a very good rapport. We always have, but being in an opening batting combination is something very unique to me," Watson said.

"It's something I haven't experienced before ... something that's become more special to me. I do understand why there was such a big deal made of all the other opening combinations before. Before I didn't really worry about it because I was always batting in the middle order with different partners. We're continuing at the moment to build some really good platforms for our team. That, in the end, is what we're there for, to get the shine off the ball and try to create a good platform. My main job now is as an opening batsman, not an all-rounder," he adds.

Katich and Watson boast the second-highest average as an opening pair in Test history from those with more than 10 innings.

They enter the SCG Test against Pakistan, starting tomorrow, coming off an imperious and result-moulding 182-run stand at the MCG.

Australia's "Odd Couple" has amassed three stands of more than 100, churning out 856 runs at an average of 71.33 from 12 innings.

England's esteemed duo of Jack Hobbs and Herbert Sutcliffe finished with an average of 87.81 from 38 innings.

"The beauty is both of us feel comfortable with our games at the moment," Katich said.

"I guess when you're going out there and you have a left-right combination, that can sometimes throw the bowlers off their line and length. The way Watto has been playing, it certainly takes the pressure off me because I can just bat normally and try to occupy the crease. The scoreboard's ticking over because he's playing so aggressively. He just bats his natural game. We're probably complementing each other really well at the moment," he added. (ANI)

Story first published: Saturday, January 2, 2010, 12:36 [IST]
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